LOS ANGELES CA - FEBRUARY 19: JaVale McGee #34 of the Washington Wizards attempts to dunk two balls at the same time in the first round of the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest apart of NBA All-Star Saturday Night at Staples Center on February 19 2011 in Los Angeles California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

2011 NBA All-Star Weekend: JaVale McGee Falls In Dunk Contest To Blake Griffin

JaVale McGee had perhaps the best dunk of the night, but he fell to Blake Griffin in the final round of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2011.

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Dunk Contest 2011: Video Of All Of JaVale McGee's Dunks

JaVale McGee did not beat Blake Griffin in the 2011 Slam Dunk Contest for a variety of reasons. McGee's best dunks came early, whereas Griffin saved his elaborate car dunk for the final round. McGee's fourth dunk, one he ostensibly planned to use for the final round, may have been "stolen" by Serge Ibaka in the opening round, which caused McGee to do an underwhelming final dunk that killed his chances. Finally, it's possible Griffin got a little home cooking advancing to the finals over Ibaka and DeMar DeRozan.

Regardless, McGee still was impressive, uncorking a variety of dunks we frankly have never seen before. He may not have won, but he certainly made an impression. Let's break down his four dunks.

Dunk 1: Two-basket dunk on 13-foot rim

It took McGee a number of tries to pull this off, but he got a well-deserved 50 once he actually completed the dunk. The clock ticked under 30 seconds, and McGee even tried and failed a different dunk, but with only one chance left, McGee came through in the clutch. The dunk looked incredible at the time, but ESPN's John Hollinger reminded us that it may have been even more difficult than it initially looked.

Watch that McGee dunk on replay -- he had to "no look" the left-hand dunk because he was catching with the right. Amazing.    

The dunk got a well-deserved 50.

Dunk 2: Three-ball dunk

McGee's second dunk began with an elaborate presentation, including his mother presenting the third ball with four men dressed as Secret Service agent, then kissing all the judges on the cheeks (or, in Julius Erving's case, the lips). It also took several chances, which may have taken away some of the buzz from the presentation. Still, McGee got it done with just under a minute left. Honestly, this may have been more incredible than the two-basket dunk, because of the coordination involved, but it wasn't as aesthetically-pleasing and thus earned only a 49.

Dunk 3: Reverse Rock The Cradle

Another dunk that really didn't get as much credit as it deserved. It looked less remarkable because McGee is so tall, but really, that made it even more impossible, because he had to avoid hitting his head on the backboard. Just check out this picture.


Had the judges been around, this would have also been a 50.

Dunk 4: One-handed dunk off the backboard.

This was pretty underwhelming. McGee said Ibaka stole his fourth dunk, but surely he could have come up with a backup better than that.

Ultimately, McGee probably would have won if he changed the order of his dunks, but he also needed to secure the crowd early, which explains why he did his top two dunks first.


NBA Dunk Contest 2011: JaVale McGee Falls To Blake Griffin In Final Round

JaVale McGee put on a clinic with his first two dunks and the two-handed dunk was probably the best dunk of the night. But his final dunk could not match the showmanship of contest favorite and NBA darling Blake Griffin. Griffin won with 68 percent of the vote.

The Rookie of the Year front runner and human YouTube reel brought out a choir to sing to him while he dunked over a car on his final attempt. By comparison,McGee's dunk was tame -- but that's only because he had to go to  a second option.

"Definitely had a different final dunk but Serge (Ibaka), he did this dunk I was gonna do," McGee said.

Before the contest, Comcast Sportsnet had video of McGee picking paper out of the net, while dunking. And Comcast's Chris Miller talked to McGee before he left for L.A. about McGee possibly replacing paper with a dollar bill.

But  Ibaka, the Oklahoma City forward, pulled off a similar dunk in an earlier round by pulling a toy off the rim with him teeth. The move cause @Unsilent to note the thievery at the time on Twitter.

Dunk Contest 2011


NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2011: JaVale McGee Third Attempt

JaVale McGee had to bring it on his third attempt after Blake Griffin lobbed it off the backboard and stuck his elbow in the rim.

McGee did a dunk without the obvious WOW factor of Griffin's, but might have been more difficult. He came from the baseline and, ducked under the rim, and put down a reverse rock the baby dunk.

The dunk prompted the TNT crew to wax about how tough it is to be a big man in the dunk contest.

Still it remains to be seen whether McGee can pull out this dunk contest win with Griffin gaining steam and bringing out a car and a gospel choir for his final dunk. This contest has officially jumped the shark (car?!) but really in the best way possible. Great times are being had right now, and it's great to see McGee being part of it.


NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2011: JaVale McGee Dunks Three Balls On Second Attempt

For his second dunk in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2011, JaVale McGee upped the ante. McGee earned a 50 on his first dunk by pulling out two baskets and dunking on each (link above). For his second act, he dunked three balls -- another Dunk contest first.

McGee ran in from the wing, dunked one ball in each hand and then a third money ball on an alley oop from teammate John Wall.

It took McGee several tries, but he got it done and the judges did not penalize him for the number of attempts. He earned himself a 49 -- meaning he has left just one point on the table through his first two dunks.

McGee was a dark horse candidate in a contest everyone suspected was Blake Griffin's to lose. So far, McGee has been the most innovative with his dunks, as we were promised by his coach, Chris Webber. At this point, it looks like it might be McGee's contest to lose. But it will all come down to the final round with McGee against Griffin.


NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2011: JaVale McGee's First Dunk Is On Two Baskets

JaVale McGee Dunk Contest

(Photo Credit: @Jose3030)

The NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2011 in underway, and we're breaking down each dunk for JaVale McGee -- Charles Barkley's dark horse candidate. Or in this case, two dunks -- at once.

JaVale McGee got a 50 on his first dunk by dunking on two baskets at once.

Chris Webber said it was going to be a "space age" dunk and this was definitely outside the realm of anything seen before in the Dunk Contest.

McGee brought out a second basket for his first dunk. With Chris Webber acting as his Vince McMahon-esque hype man. He missed he missed several attempts, but put down the dunk before time expired.

The TNT crew mused that, with his wingspan, it's possible McGee is the only person on earth who could do that dunk. Kenny Smith called it the "third degree" of difficulty he'd ever seen in his life.

Barkley beamed at the dunk of his dark horse candidate. "America don't know much about him because ain't no way in hell we're gonna show the Wizards," Barkley said.


2011 NBA All Star Weekend: Skills Challenge Tough For John Wall

John Wall put on a show in Fridays' Rookie-Sophomore game, but could not repeat the performance in the Skill Competition during his first NBA All-Star weekend.

Wall's time of 39.3 seconds placed him fourth out of five contestants. He was voted into the competition alongside Stephen Curry, Russell Westerbook, Derrick Rose and Chris Paul. Curry won the contest, defeating Westbrook in the final.

On Friday night, Wall set a Rookie Challenge record with 22 assists, leading the Rookies to their first win against the Sophomores in eight years. But he was well behind Curry's 34.1 seconds needed to get into the final round.

Wall wasn't terrible, but he missed twice on the long outlet pass after the jump shot. He missed one other chest pass that rattled in and out, and forced him back to the rack after he was already on his way to the next station.

Wall didn't look to broken up about the performance, smiling on the bench with the other competitors.

Now all that's left to do is cheer on Wizards teammate JaVale McGee in the Dunk Contest.


2011 NBA All-Star Weekend: Blake Griffin And JaVale McGee Highlight Tonight's Dunk Contest

Perhaps the most compelling skills competition this year during the NBA's All Star Weekend is the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, which will pit four of the games' best young slammers against each other to see who can deliver the best throw down. The contest will be the fourth event of the 'All Star Night' telecast tonight, and will be broadcast at 8:30 on TNT. 

D.C. sports fans will be interested in seeing how Wizards center JaVale McGee will fare against arguably the game's best dunker, rookie Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers. McGee and Griffin will be joined by DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors and Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder.     

Griffin is the clear favorite because he has delivered far and away the the best dunks so far this season, but JaVale has thrown down a fair share of his as well, so he could sneak up on the competition. 

Either way, here's looking forward to a good set of highlight video dunks from all those involved tonight.


2011 NBA All-Star Weekend: John Wall Named MVP In Rookies 148-140 Win Over Sophomores

John Wall got his first taste of NBA All-Star Weekend action on Friday night during the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge. Both during the game and during the halftime entertainment, the Washington Wizards rookie stole the show.

On the night he arrived in the city where he trained before the Washington Wizards drafted him No. 1 overall, Wall was presented a challenge by Orlando Magic all-star center Dwight Howard at the celebrity pool tournament hosted by Magic Johnson and Alonzo Mourning. Howard dared anyone to get on the stage and show who could do the best rendition of the popular dance, the Dougie.

Boston Celtics reserve Glen "Big Baby" Davis joined Wall and several others in a Dougie dance-off, and Wall was fairly confident about who came away the winner.

"I think I did," Wall said, having already learned from his Dougie battle with R&B singer Chris Brown at a New Year’s Eve party.

After the halftime entertainment, the Rookies went to work snapping their seven year skid against the Sophomores in the yearly matchup of the NBA’s youngest stars. There wasn't much defense played, which is to be expected, but Wall was spectacular setting up highlight reel finishes. His 22 assists set a rookie-sophomore game record.

The most spectacular play of the game on a night filled with high flying dunks galore? John Wall's bounce pass alley-oop to Blake Griffin early in the second half. 


2011 NBA Rookie Challenge: John Wall, Blake Griffin Lead Rookies Vs. Sophomores

The T-Mobile NBA Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam, otherwise known as the 2011 rookie game, will take place at 9 p.m. Friday night on TNT. Wizards phenom John Wall and NBA phenom Blake Griffin look to give the Rookie team its second straight win when they go up against Brandon Jennings, Stephen Curry and the Sophomore squad.

Wall and Griffin are the obvious headliners, but both teams have several other rising stars as well. The rookies will be looking for another win after Tyreke Evans led the squad to a surprising win at the 2010 All-Star Game in Dallas. Evans was scheduled to play for the sophomores, but has pulled out due to an injury. He was replaced by James Harden of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Wall will have a chance to play with two of his college teammates, as Eric Bledsoe of the Clippers and DeMarcus Cousins of the Kings also made the Rookie squad.

The assistant coaches for the Celtics and Spurs will coach the respective teams. Amar'e Stoudemire will be an assistant coach for the rookies, while Carmelo Anthony will do the same for the sophomores. Here are the complete rosters:

Rookies: Wall, Griffin, Bledsoe, Cousins, Derrick Favors (Nets), Landry Fields (Knicks), Wes Johnson (Timberwolves), Greg Monroe (Pistons), Gary Neal (Spurs)

Sophomores: Jennings, Curry, Harden, DeJuan Blair (Spurs), DeMar DeRozan (Raptors), Taj Gibson (Bulls), Jrue Holiday (76ers), Serge Ibaka (Thunder), Wesley Matthews (Blazers)


NBA All-Star Game West Roster And The Players' Stats Against The Wizards

The Western Conference roster for the 2011 NBA All-Star game is headlined by three hometown players. Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Clippers rookie sensation Blake Griffin will be playing in front of their hometown fans at the Staples Center on Sunday, February 20 at 8 p.m.

Here is the complete roster, along with their career statistics against the Wizards, via Basketball Reference.

Kobe Bryant: 25.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists in 26 games

Chris Paul: 19.4 points, 10.1 assists, 5.5 rebounds, 59 percent shooting in 10 games

Carmelo Anthony: 27.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 50.5-percent shooting in 14 games

Kevin Durant: 31 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 53.4 percent shooting in six games

Tim Duncan: 17.3 points, 10.3 rebounds in 25 games

Pau Gasol: 18.7 points, 9 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 53.6 percent shooting in 17 games

Dirk Nowitzki: 26 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 21 games

Deron Williams: 14.5 points, 10.5 assists in 11 games

Kevin Love: 19.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, 54.8 percent shooting in five games

Russell Westbrook: 18.8 points, 8.6 assists, 6.2 rebounds in five games

Manu Ginobili: 14.7 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists in 12 games


NBA All-Star East Roster And The Participants' Stats Against The Wizards

The NBA All-Star Game will take place on Sunday at 8 p.m., and will feature pretty much all of the league's brightest stars. The Eastern Conference team is led by Dwight Howard, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, and seven of the 12 participants are from the Boston Celtics or the Miami Heat.

Here is the complete Eastern Conference roster, combined with their career statistics against the Wizards. All data via Basketball Reference.

LeBron James: 26.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, 6.5 assists in 26 games.

Dwyane Wade: 23.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 6.5 assists in 25 games

Chris Bosh: 20.3 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists in 24 games

Joe Johnson: 19.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists in 29 games

Al Horford: 12.5 points, 10.2 rebounds in 13 games

Ray Allen: 18.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 35.4% from three-point range in 40 games

Paul Pierce: 22 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists in 45 games

Kevin Garnett: 19.4 points, 10.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists in 34 games

Rajon Rondo: 10.8 points, 7.1 assists, 3.3 rebounds in 15 games

Derrick Rose: 19.7 points, 6.4 assists and 4 rebounds in nine games

Amar'e Stoudemire: 20.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, 55.8 percent shooting in 15 games

Dwight Howard: 17.7 points, 12 rebounds, 61.1 percent shooting in 28 games.


2011 NBA All-Star Weekend Schedule: John Wall, JaVale McGee Involved

NBA All-Star Weekend from Staples Center in Los Angeles kicks off Friday, and two Wizards will be prominently involved in the festivities. John Wall will play in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam on Friday night and in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge on Saturday night, while JaVale McGee will look to take down Blake Griffin, DeMar DeRozan and Serge Ibaka in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. 

Here's a complete schedule of all the events.


BBVA Celebrity Game, 7 PM, ESPN: Bill Simmons will finally get his wish to coach a basketball team when he goes up against coach Jimmy Kimmel and a host of stars of Hollywood and beyond. Among the participants: Justin Bieber, Common, Rob Kardashian, Jason Alexander, Magic Johnson and Bill Walton.

T-Mobile Rookie Challenge and Youth Jam, 9 PM, TNT: Wall and Griffin will lead their team of rookies against a sophomores squad led by Stephen Curry. The rookies won last year, so Wall and Griffin are hoping to make it a streak.


Haier Shooting Stars, 8 PM, TNT.: Team Texas (Dirk Nowitzki, Kenny Smith and Roneeka Hodges) will look to defend their title against a crew from Los Angeles, Atlanta and Chicago.

Taco Bell Skills Challenge, 8:30 PM, TNT: Wall was among four players voted to participate in this event, along with Stephen Curry, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook. They will look to take down defending champion Chris Paul.


Foot Locker 3-Point Contest, after the Skills Challenge, TNT.: Paul Pierce looks to defend his title against a field that includes teammate Ray Allen.

Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, after the 3-Point Contest, TNT: This is McGee's chance to take down Griffin, the overwhelming favorite. DeMar DeRozan and Serge Ibaka will try to do the same.


NBA All-Star Game, 8 PM, TNT.: Kobe Bryant and Griffin will star on their home floor against an East team that may as well be called the "Boston Heat," seeing as seven of the 12 players are from either the Celtics or the Heat.

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